Roanoke ranked second nationwide for non-fatal overdoses

ROANOKE, Va. – New data shows Roanoke has some of the highest non-fatal overdose rates in the country per capita.

The White House launched an opioid overdose tracker late last year with the hope that it can help address the issue.

It tracks numbers from EMS agencies across the country about non-fatal opioid overdoses that have been reported to the National Emergency Medical Services information system.

Based on the dashboard, in the past year, Washington D.C., Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Illinois saw the highest rates of nonfatal opioid overdoses.

When you break it down by city or county per capita, Roanoke city took the No. 2 spot.

Another Virginia city — Portsmouth was ranked sixth.

Nine of the communities in the top ten have a population less than 100,000.

Local Delegate Sam Rasoul pointed all this out — pushing the expansion of Catawba hospital in hopes of treating more people struggling with substance abuse.

Especially since data also shows Virginia overall has “higher than average” rates.

This dashboard focuses entirely on opioids — the leading cause of drug deaths — but excludes cocaine, meth and other substances.

About the Authors:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.